While meat makes up the majority of their diet, domestic dogs can also get nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These non-meat foods aren't just fillers, but can be a valuable source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good dog food will contain meat, vegetables, grains and fruits. It's totally acceptable to feed your dog a pure kibble diet.
Or you can mix your diet with cooked or raw meat, fish, vegetables, and rice. Your dog must have water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and some vitamins and minerals to be healthy. The amount of food they need depends on their size and physical activity. Ask your vet to help you determine how much to give and what type of food would be best.
There have been many pet food safety incidents related to thiamine (vitamin B) deficiency induced by a sulfite preservative, which can be fatal. The amount of food required will depend on your dog's size, breed, age and level of exercise, but be careful not to overfeed or underfeed. The most respected nutritionists now recommend feeding your dog according to their stage of life (puppy, adolescent, pregnancy, adult, older adult) to maintain the overall health and well-being of your dog and improve both the quality and quantity of your dog's life. Dogs have different nutritional needs during different stages of their lives, and feeding them a diet that is formulated for all stages of life is not necessarily appropriate.
For dogs that need to consume more water or have certain special dietary needs, canned foods may be a better option. Because growth is nearly complete between 8 and 10 months of age, the average puppy can be switched to adult dog food around 12 months of age. This means that, under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods. At 6 months, the need for food decreases because puppies are approximately 75% of their adult size and can eat two to three meals a day.
To understand how and what to feed your dog, you must understand what the nutritional requirements of dogs are and how these requirements have developed throughout the process of biological evolution. Each ingredient is weighed when added to the food batch, and ingredients, such as fresh meat, contain a lot of water, much of which is lost during processing. Check the bag, box, or can for the nutrition statement from the Association of Food Control Officials of the United States (AAFCO), which will indicate that the food is complete and balanced. To further complicate matters, some nutrients are listed as a minimum percentage, while others appear as a maximum percentage, meaning that the food batch may contain a higher or lower percentage of the ingredient shown on the label.
The amount of food your dog needs will largely depend on the size, breed and age of your dog, as well as how regularly you exercise. If you have any questions about a particular food, your best source of help is your veterinary health care team. The pet nutrition industry is very competitive and most of the foods available on the market are very good and balanced diets.